Welcome to Around The Planet. No, we’re not a Daft Punk cover band. This feature will look at community-building threads around our forum, where folks can share their passion for one of our common bonds, on of the reasons we’re all here: sim racing, in its many forms.
Graphical user interfaces. On the face of it, a pretty dull combination of three words, the sort that you’d expect Agent Smith to utter in the Matrix. But well-designed GUI’s are essential. Look no further than your local road network, and the myriad signs that inhabit it. Look at the NYC subway map. Actually, don’t: we don’t want you getting lost.
A great GUI can have a major impact on a game, too. Gran Turismo 5’s main menu garnered a fair amount of criticism at the time of release for its unclear, sometimes-haphazard item placement. When GT6 rolled around in 2013, Polyphony Digital clearly heard the comments, as a comprehensive overhaul of the menus resulted in a cleaner, quicker experience.
With the announcement of GT Sport late last year, a popular thread in our forums was given a new lease on life. The re-christened GT7 and GT Sport User Interface Fan Art thread was started by Scuderia Paul all the way back in 2014, and if it sounds familiar, then you may have already heard about it in a Community Spotlight feature back in May. We’re going to look at just a few of the literally hundreds of images in the thread, so get comfortable.
Look at that. Paul leads by example here, starting the thread up with some serious eye-candy right off the bat. A crisp, clean background puts the Aston front and centre, and the man behind the design has cleverly combined the race liveries and Base Models approach of GT6 into the paint options themselves. How much easier would it be if we could pick out liveries based on events, as we purchase a car? As for the Aston itself, it appears Paul had a premonition, as the Vantage GT3 featured in the GT Sport announcement trailer.
In that same announcement trailer, Polyphony made mention of a Nations Cup, where players will get to represent their country against drivers around the world. Paul responded to this naturally, with an image that could easily pass as a legitimate screen grab from a game:
Next up, user HACHIR0KU gives us a splash page (the opening image up top) for how he’d like to see the game greet players upon first loading up. It follows the established GT Sport colour scheme, and sticks to simple, straight-forward menu options. Shortly after, he also posted an image for the Career Hub. The title cards for series in Polyphony’s games have always had their own style to them, and HACHIR0KU takes care to make sure these also carry a consistent tone.
User Grandea GTR has been a steady contributor to the thread, focusing on the usual menus, in addition to things like the HUD and tuning menu. Taking inspiration from GT2’s different cities, Grandea presents unique situations for the player at each login, with sales, special events, and even inclement weather. With the Gran Turismo franchise approaching the two-decade mark next year, some players may not have experienced the older titles, but Grandea has a solution for those looking to get a taste of them: a racing HUD that recall the originals! Below, you can see his updated take on the look of GT3:
Most recently, Nico_Ble99 has provided images for all sorts of aspects of the game. While they too follow the gold colour scheme of GT Sport, they also call to mind the older Playstation 2 games in their layout and general look. It’s a fine line between nostalgia and grave-digging, and Nico’s collection of images definitely fall into the former. Below, you can see his take on the main menu for GT Sport:
As GT Sport draws near, it will be interesting to see how close our community got to the final look. These are only a smattering of the images available in the full thread. Head on over there to see the rest, or contribute your own!